2017 09 01 Rachel Claire Okani Abengue 2

Thursday August 17, 2017. ASE had the honor of hosting Dr. Rachel-Claire Okani Abengue, a Cameroonian national who studied private law and received her PhD in France.

Dr. Abengue’s presentation relayed the many challenges she encountered as a French speaking Fulbright scholar. “You can get it if you really want it” she claimed, reflecting back on her experience applying for the Fulbright Scholarship. To begin the process, she requested to meet with the director of the American Cultural Center and after four months of follow ups and processing she was finally selected as a Fulbright fellow in Florida, USA.

Dr. Abengue also gave ASE students advice about building a career and studying abroad. She claimed that opportunities such as the Fulbright give us the chance to prove that being African and Francophone are not obstacles but advantages. She also advised students about mainlining a school-social life balance and emphasized focus on education over romantic relationships. In conclusion, Dr. Abengue asked the students “Does money you earn as car washer smell different than what you would make working in a public office”? She further stressed on the importance of entrepreneurship and the notion that no job (even it seems low level or unimportant) should be neglected. 

Students felt that Dr. Abengue is a strong role model who isn’t afraid to learn. One student claimed, “We don’t need to have a lot of money before we start something. We must have high expectations for ourselves and must not be ashamed to try seemingly small or unimportant jobs”.